SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (AP) – Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter”, Drive My Car and Summer of Soul were among the big winners at the 37th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Sunday.
The ceremony hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally was held in a tent by the beach in Santa Monica, California, broadcast on AMC and IFC. It is the cool, casual counterpart to some of the more traditional film awards shows.
“If you don’t win, you can just walk straight into the ocean,” Offerman said.
Gyllenhaal won best feature, director and best screenplay for her adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel The Lost Daughter.
Through tears, Gyllenhaal said that more than anything she believes in love. She was effusive in her praise for her crew.
“You were the first people to tell me I was a director,” she said. “Thank you to Netflix – I can’t even believe this – for your support. Nobody ever makes their first movie and comes out loving their financiers. I love independent film,” Gyllenhaal added. “I grew up making independent film.”
Japan’s Drive My Car, which has also been nominated for a best picture Oscar, picked up best international feature.
Taylour Paige won best female lead for Zola, which was based on a Twitter thread about a wild trip to Florida.
“Wow, I am in shock. I wrote something because I’m not eloquent,” Paige said.
She thanked her grandmother who passed away on the day she got word of her nomination and Zola for, “knowing that your story was worth telling”. Simon Rex won best male lead for playing an adult film star in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket. Rex said his career was in the dumps before Baker called him for the shoestring film.
“I’m reeling from the whole experience,” Rex said. “This is basically a glorified student film…I’m grateful and humbled.”
Mullally and Offerman got the show off to a lively start, both in three piece suits and vests with no shirt underneath. Sarah Silverman made an appearance in a pre-taped segment offering her services as a backup host because Mullally and Offerman joined Twitter “before 2015”.
The married co-hosts said they’d hoped to be the biggest Hollywood couple in the room and were dismayed that Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard were there to upstage them.
“A-listers and indie stars? Pick a lane you greedy people,” Offerman said.
They acknowledged Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Offerman said he hopes “Putin goes home” and implored the audience to send him off with a “Spirit Awards salute”.
The show’s honorary chair Kristen Stewart also spoke about the war.
“We’re compelled to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Stewart said. “We stand with the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing this war.”
Historically, the Spirit Awards are held on the Saturday afternoon before the Oscars, but this year moved up a few weeks.
Summer of Soul won best documentary. The film brings back to life the largely forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969.
“I’m not going to cry right now, I’m not, I’m not,” Summer of Soul’s director Questlove said. Troy Kotsur got another boost before the Oscars, winning best supporting actor for CODA. He also won the Screen Actors Guild prize.
“I can feel the spirit of the arts and we can celebrate together,” Kotsur said.